How to deal with an interview rejection

We look at 6 ways you can turn a job rejection to your advantage.

Sankar Pillai
March 24, 2021

Interviews can be like exams, sometimes. You prepare the best way you possibly could, but there can be that one question throwing the spanner in the works in enabling you to ace the test. Similarly, you could feel it in your gut that you are going to crush this interview you are about attend, but a series of circumstances and a couple of questions from the interview board or the interviewer could be all it takes to lend you that sinking feeling, that this may not be the interview of your dreams.

Be that as it may, every failure ought to be taken as a learning opportunity and if you are the one who believes in the glass half full philosophy, an interview rejection should only stand in your favour in the long term. Here are six takeaways from a failed interview that should help you emerge stronger and more prepared for the next round.

  1. Getting feedback is mandatory

Brooding over what possibly went wrong doesn’t cut it. A little bit of self-analysis helps but it pays to get to know from the people who mattered in that room on what actually went wrong and where you came up short in terms of the management’s requirements. The knowledge will stand you in good stead as you prepare for your next interview.

  1. Build a personal development plan

Think about this particular interview you got rejected at as well as past interviews if any you succeeded or failed in, find out if there is a recurring theme here, are there any particular points you feel, among the bad interviews and the good, where you possibly faltered. Find out if there is a way you could overcome these obstacles. This way you are on track towards building a personal development plan. List all the instances where you think you lacked confidence, questions that left you stumped or induced weak responses and work on these instances so your approach to an interview changes overall.

  1. Was the prep enough?

You can never be ready enough. Interview rejection can be heartbreaking but be true to yourselves and ask if you were really prepared for the interview you attended. If you are unsure or not willing to respond to that query, you know you could have prepped better. Go on then, prep better. Do more research on the skills, on what more it requires to ace the interview, and more importantly the job you know you are going to be offered.

interview rejection

  1. Start from scratch

Things may not have gone the right way at this particular job interview, but ask yourselves – was the job you interviewed for the right one after all? A little desperation helps to keep you on your toes but don’t reek of it to the extent that you apply for every other seemingly attractive job vacancy out there. Be selective in the jobs you choose to interview for next time, knowing fully well that these are the jobs that matter and in which you feel you will be able to make a difference. Being armed with that conviction should put you on the road to success.

  1. It’s not weird to be philosophical

The me time you get as you self-analyse might leave you feeling weird and a bit goofy, but take this in your stride and know that it’s alright to be critical of your faults and shortcomings, convincing yourselves that while the interview panel thought you were not good enough for the job, the opposite might be true as well. Many times, you and the job are not a perfect match, which is what leads to a lack of job satisfaction in the long term. Convince yourselves that the job you got rejected from may not have been the best fix for you and that you can do better, finding a better job that is.

  1. Hit the ground running

Give yourselves a couple of days but perk up after, a job rejection is not the end of the world. Getting into a fit of depression over a job rejection is the first step towards giving up on yourselves, don’t stray down that path, not if you love yourselves. Bounce right back and get your life on track, access your most trusted job sites and shortlist the next round of interviews. Tomorrow is another day.

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